It was the last week of Wimbledon when I wrote the first draft of this, and it occurred to me that Montis is all about the inner game of audio. It taps deep into the audiophile DNA, making a sound that is as captivating as it is beautiful. This is a speaker for people who cry at operas, but it’s also for people who play air guitar to ZZ Top, and those who compose poignant haiku in their heads while solving grand-master grades. If you don’t have some choral music in your collection, the Montis will gently, but firmly, direct you in the direction of Thomas Tallis, and in particular the Tallis Scholars singing Spem in Alium [Gimell CD]. The precision and purity of the voices, coupled with the sense of space in recreating the Merton College chapel in Oxford, gives a sense of religious passion so profound that it makes me want to burn some witches.
I then played ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ from Dusty Springfield’s immortal Dusty in Memphis album [Philips CD], and she was singing for me, just for me. And, in the manner of all good 1960s albums, she’s there front and centre, singing into a sweet tube mic with an equally sweet tube mic amp behind that, the backing vocals are panned left, the horn section and percussion panned right, but not sharp left or right. It just sounds wonderful.
If all this might make you think of something soft, rolled off, and incapable of playing rock, guess again. Out came ‘IM the Supervisor’ from the Infected Mushroom album of the same name [BNE, CD] and gave it some throttle. And it’s perhaps there that makes the Montis shine; no careful handling, just speed, accuracy, and level. If you want to get really nasty about this, I even played ‘Shake Yer Dix’ by Peaches from her really rather unmentionably-named album and it rocked out with its… well, you know.